Veritas Blog

Join the conversation

Through advocacy work, community and professional events, and media outreach, Veritas is helping to bring cutting-edge research, best-practice care, and scientifically backed information into the national eating disorder conversation. Here in our blog you can learn about the work we and others are doing to advance the understanding and treatment of eating disorders. You’ll also find interesting articles and helpful insights that can support you or a loved one on the journey to lasting recovery. We want to hear your story. Email us (blog@veritascollaborative.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!

Erin Werner

Episode 69: Mindful Self-Compassion with Erin Werner

Episode description: 

Erin Werner is a mental health administrator, student, makeup artist, and ordained minister who enjoys being present with her family, cooking, and baking. In this episode of Peace Meal, she shares her eating disorder experience, including the factors that contributed to her illness, her process of seeking help, and the power of mindful self-compassion in her recovery.

Erin recounts her struggle with multiple eating disorders, illnesses that were characterized by bingeing, restricting, and purging throughout her adolescence and into her 20s. She then explains how, with the help of her parents, she started therapy and learned to identify the factors and co-occurring issues that were masking and influencing these conditions. Over time and with professional help, she learned the skill of mindful self-compassion, which was critical to her recovery. She shares how she has developed better coping mechanisms through the practice of self-compassion and overall feels more at peace with herself, her body, and food. In addition to finding a passion for cooking, she can now see food for what it is, fuel for the body. 

Read more

A couple grocery shopping

Grocery Shopping in Eating Disorder Recovery

It’s been a few weeks since you’ve completed treatment. You have learned coping strategies to manage eating disorder impulses and behaviors, but certain activities can still be triggering. Shopping for food is a common challenge for so many who are struggling or have struggled with an eating disorder. A grocery store, with its endless options and food labels abound, can be an overwhelming place for anyone, let alone someone recovering from an eating disorder. When thoughts of food are already taking up your whole brain, entering an environment filled with such a vast amount of food can understandably exacerbate that issue, causing anxiety, fear, and distress. 

We want to help you cope with this common trigger. In this article, we will cover the potential challenges of grocery shopping while in recovery, as well as helpful strategies to overcome those challenges.

Read more

Woman on phone

What to Expect When You Contact Veritas Collaborative

We know that seeking treatment for an eating disorder is often a difficult decision, one that requires support and understanding. We’re here to help. Starting with your first phone call, we’re committed to ensuring you get the expert, compassionate care you need as quickly as possible. 

It’s natural to have questions about what to expect when you reach out for help. This overview of our admissions process describes the steps between your first phone call and your first day of treatment so that you are informed from the very start. 

Read more

Anne Ganje

Staff Spotlight, Anne Ganje

Tell us about yourself!

Hello, my name is Anne Ganje, RD, LD, and I am the Lead Dietitian at the Child, Adolescent, and Adult Center in Richmond, Virginia. I have been with Veritas Collaborative since January 2020. 

Read more

Katie Whipple

Episode 67: Pursuing Your Joy with Katie Whipple

Katie Whipple is a Certified Public Accountant who co-led a $7 billion business deal as the youngest and only female on her team. After moving from New York to Indiana, she now participates in community involvement through Junior Achievement, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and her own podcast “Cup of Common Grounds.” Five years into her recovery, and after a seven-year hiatus, Katie decided to return to pageantry and will be competing for Miss Indiana USA in April.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Katie explores the factors that led to the development and worsening of her eating disorder, as well as those that now keep her strong in recovery. As a home-schooled Christian who grew up in purity culture, she says she was unaccustomed to the cultural and social pressures she encountered at college. The dramatic transition triggered her eating concerns, as well as a feeling that she was living a double life: a high achiever confidently facing business partners and pageantry judges in public but struggling in private. In recovery, Katie has learned to find worth beyond her appearance and better name her emotions, a skill that has deepened her relationships with family and friends. She has also been able to reignite a passion that provided self-confidence and self-development when she was younger, pageantry. Acknowledging that pageantry can be a significant trigger for those with eating disorders, Katie shares how she protects her recovery while doing what she loves. 

Read more

New Years Blog

A Non-Diet Approach to New Year’s Resolutions

With 2022 just around the corner, many people are making their New Year’s resolutions. As in years past, many of these resolutions will revolve around diet and weight loss. These diet culture resolutions are incredibly problematic, especially for those struggling with, recovering from, or susceptible to developing an eating disorder. Dieting is a key risk factor for eating disorders and interferes with the process of developing a healthy relationship with food.

If making a New Year’s resolution is something you would like to do, remember to do so with your recovery in mind. In this blog, we have examples of goals unrelated to diet or weight that could get you started when making your own. Some of these suggestions may not be appropriate for everyone; please work with your recovery team or modify the examples to suit your recovery needs.

Read more

A Christmas place setting with a card on the plate that says, "Christmas Menu." as well as a pine branch and three little ornaments

Holiday Dos and Don’ts for Those in Eating Disorder Recovery

The holiday season can be a complicated and difficult time for those in eating disorder recovery. Stress and anxiety can increase with the presence of food and the large amount of time often spent with family members, both immediate and extended. It can also be hard for people to know the best way to support their loved ones in recovery. In order to make this holiday season a little bit more tolerable, we have created a list of dos and don’ts for those in recovery, as well as for the people who support them.

Read more

Amy Gerberry

Staff Spotlight, Amy Gerberry

Welcome to Staff Spotlight, an interview series featuring members of our incredible Veritas Collaborative team! Get to know our staff and learn about the critical role they play in caring for our patients and their families.

This month we highlight Amy Gerberry, MS, LPC.

Read more

Hannah Howard

Episode 65: Honoring Your Hunger with Hannah Howard

Episode description: 

Hannah Howard is a writer and food expert who has spent her career in the food industry serving, bartending, cooking on a line, flipping giant wheels of cheese, managing restaurants, and now writing about food. She is the author of two memoirs, Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen and Plenty: A Memoir of Food and Family. 

In this episode of Peace Meal, Hannah tells us about her complex relationship with food, describing how she once feared her own appetite. Food had been the center point of her career–her professional passion–and also a source of anxiety as she struggled silently with an eating disorder. Hannah describes how sharing her story in recovery has not only connected her to others with similar experiences, but also allowed food to be a source of joy and passion once again. In addition, she discusses the  “good” and “bad” labels often applied to food and encourages everyone to approach eating with self-compassion and kindness. She reflects on her experiences of pregnancy in recovery, naming how she set boundaries at the doctor’s office and strives to set a good example for her children. Recovery is a process, one Hannah says she is still learning.  

Read more

A woman holding her hands over her heart in gratitude.

Self-Care During the Holiday Season

During the holiday season, it can be easy to get wrapped up in festivities and family. Thanksgiving can be especially stressful for those struggling with an eating disorder because most households celebrate with food. Having to navigate this food-centric holiday with an eating disorder just adds to the chaos often experienced around this time. This blog aims to keep you mindful of yourself and your recovery during the holidays ahead.

Read more

A girl looks at herself in the mirror

Body Checking and Body Avoidance

Many eating disorders involve a preoccupation with body shape and weight. This preoccupation often results in distorted thoughts and beliefs, as well as disordered behaviors around food and eating. Some common and well-known behaviors that may indicate the presence of an eating disorder include: rigid food rules, denying hunger, hiding or stockpiling food, and eating in secret. 

Body checking and body avoidance are some less-discussed behavioral signs of an eating disorder. In this article, we will cover the definition of body checking and body avoidance, as well as how those behaviors relate to an eating disorder and ways to overcome them. 

It is important to note that anyone can exhibit body checking and body avoidance behavior whether they have an eating disorder or not, and not everyone with an eating disorder exhibits those behaviors. Additionally, it is not always the case that a person will only experience either body checking or body avoidance; it is not uncommon to experience both at the same time or go back and forth between the two.

Read more

Jason Wood

Episode 68: The Dangers of “Clean Eating” with Jason Wood

Episode description: 

Jason Wood combined his therapeutic love of writing with his mission to break the stigma around men’s mental health and eating disorders by launching Orthorexia Bites in 2021. His first book, a memoir titled Starving for Survival, is out now.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Jason discusses how weight-based bullying, the loss of his parents, and a cancer scare all contributed to the development of his eating disorder. He reflects on how the praise he received after weight loss in his early teens led him to believe that diet and exercise were something that made him “good” in the eyes of others. Then, he explains, a cancer scare led him to dieting and “clean eating” in an attempt to prevent cancer—the illness that took both of his parents. Jason experienced weight loss and was once again praised by friends and healthcare providers, suggesting that he was on the right track. In reality, however, an obsession with “clean eating” was consuming his life. Jason wants to share his story so that other men and boys know that they are not alone in their struggle with an eating disorder. 

Read more

People talking to each other in a group therapy session

An Overview of Day Treatment (PHP/IOP) at Veritas Collaborative

At Veritas Collaborative, we offer a full continuum of care for people with eating disorders of all types. Ranging from inpatient to outpatient, the levels of care vary according to the level of support and structure they provide. These diverse and distinct levels support our individualized approach to treatment.

In this article, we provide an overview of day treatment options at Veritas, including both our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Learn the components of day treatment for adults, adolescents, and children and how day programs differ from other kinds of treatments on the care continuum.

Read more

Woman meditating on a dock on a lake

Practicing Self-Care in the New Year

Happy New Year! As we settle into the month of January, reflection on the year before and dreams of the year ahead are the focus for many. Discussion of “be better” and “do more” goals, resolutions, tasks, and dreams are floating around in the minds of many. 

What if we instead focused on goals that center on ways we can better engage in a self-care practice? What if we tried taking care of ourselves, exactly as we are, and made sure that we managed the things that are present in our everyday lives, today, in the moment?

In all the self-care conversations, research, and TED Talks, we find ideas for successful self-care, as well as what self-care is and is not. Surveys seem to indicate that most people agree that self-care is both important and valuable. However, at the same time, many people report that they don’t have time for it or that they struggle to put themselves before the many other tasks at hand.

Read more

Man looking out window

What is Compulsive Overeating?

Compulsive overeating is eating an excessive amount of food but not because of hunger. When someone compulsively overeats, it is often an unhealthy and ineffective way of avoiding or distracting from difficult emotions or situations. Though engaging in the eating behavior may provide some short-term relief, ultimately it often brings physical and emotional distress, as well as feelings of shame, anger, anxiety, or fear related to food. This blog describes compulsive overeating, including its relationship to eating disorders and its common characteristics.

Read more

A red plate sits on a table with hot cider and gingerbread cookies. Christmas decorations surround the plate,

Episode 66: A Compilation of Advice for Those Doubting Recovery

Episode description: 

In this special holiday episode, we have compiled some powerful insights on recovery from several of our 2021 guests who have experienced it themselves. Throughout the year, we asked our podcast guests with a personal eating disorder story this question: “What would you tell someone listening who believes recovery isn’t possible for them?” This episode features some of the answers we received in response. 

Many of our guests share how they once thought that recovery wasn’t possible for them as well, but every little step they made toward healing was so important. While acknowledging how challenging recovery can be, they also emphasize how much better it is than having an eating disorder. If you are experiencing or recovering from an eating disorder yourself, we hope that this episode leaves you with some hope and wisdom on your path to healing. 

Read more

A plate with cutlery placed on a plate to look like a clock with a person holding a fork and spoon on either side of the plate

Why Intermittent Fasting is a Dangerous Fad

Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that includes regular periods of fasting. Unlike traditional diets, it does not include any rules on what foods “should” or “should not” be eaten; it specifies when and when not to eat instead. Participants limit their eating to a certain window of time—for example, to just eight hours per day or five days per week—and do not eat for the remainder of the time. 

The trend has become increasingly popular in the last several years for its promises of improved health and weight loss. The more nuanced examination of the potential dangers of intermittent fasting, however, are often not addressed in conversations about the subject. In this article, we will cover the potential negative physical and mental side effects, including the dangers for those at risk of or suffering from an eating disorder.

Read more

Holiday gifts

Hope for the Holidays

Nearly two years into the pandemic, we continue to feel its deep impact on our lives. COVID-19 has changed the way we live, the way we work, and the way we spend our time. It has taken 750,000 lives from us and impacted the physical and mental health of countless more.

This holiday season, Mark Warren, MD, MPH, FAED, Chief Medical Officer of Veritas Collaborative, joins us to reflect on the continued impact of COVID on those with eating disorders and look forward to a year of hope and better health.

Read more

Woman sitting with food

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is a method that trusts the body’s natural intuition to guide a person’s eating decisions. It is about eating mindfully and dismissing food rules that have been made from either childhood, family rules, diet culture, misinformation about food, or eating disorders. Intuitive eating is not a diet, but a way to work with your body to notice signs of either hunger or fullness. These are internal signs that allow the body to be the expert of its physical and psychological needs.

The intuitive eating approach relies on the body’s natural intuition. However, eating often feels far from intuitive for many people, as diet culture and disordered eating habits create distance from this natural intuition. A strong mind-body connection is needed with intuitive eating; without it, the mind can’t act as a manager for the body’s hunger and nutritional needs. An eating disorder can make it difficult to satisfy the body’s needs, relying instead on external rules. This blog aims to inform you of the principles of intuitive eating as well as what intuitive eating looks like.  

Read more

Betsy Brenner

Episode 64: Healing Has No Age Limit with Betsy Brenner

Episode description: 

Betsy is a long-time tennis coach, retired hospital attorney, and the author of a memoir titled The Longest Match: Rallying to Defeat an Eating Disorder in Midlife. Her inspiring message is that it is never too late to be a work in progress. Betsy is also an eating disorder recovery speaker, advocate, and peer support mentor who shows that it is possible to heal from past trauma and become healthier in body, mind, and spirit.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Betsy discusses how she was taught to suppress her emotions growing up, how dealing with her trauma was the only way to recover from her eating disorder, and how you’re never too old to start healing. She tells us how the food she consumed as a child was completely controlled by her mother, and how that prevented her from learning how to eat intuitively. She also covers the combination of events that led to her developing an eating disorder in midlife. Betsy shares that telling her story in her memoir lifted the weight of her trauma and made her feel empowered and free. She emphasizes that you can recover, as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and deal with the trauma you’ve experienced.

Read more

Recovery Starts Here

If you have questions about anything - eating disorders, our programs, specific needs or concerns - or you'd like to schedule an initial phone assessment or a comprehensive in-person medical assessment, please give us a call or complete our contact form. Our admissions team is here to help.

Veritas Collaborative Logo